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Month: February 2003

Family of electrocuted thief gets $75,000

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Check this out: Family of electrocuted thief gets $75,000
I have no pity for the crook, but might there be an argument that the booby trap posed a danger to police, firefighters, etc? I think not — the clearly posted signs warned them, and if that means that they have to let the place burn down, its the bar managers responsibility. If the signs weren’t posted, then I think there is an argument for reasonable expectation of being able to enter a building to prevent crime/fires in a city.

Random clips from the news…

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Story 1: If antiwar protesters succeed

Story 2:

In Brooklyn, N.Y., Ron Dixon and his family were jolted awake by a noise early one morning.

There was a stranger in the house. When Dixon saw the intruder enter his young son’s room, he grabbed his 9 mm pistol, and said to the man, “What are you doing in my house?”

Dixon says the burglar then moved toward him, and so he shot him twice.

The intruder survived. He’s a career criminal who’s been arrested 19 times. He’s now being held in New York’s Rikers Island jail.

Dixon has also been arrested and charged with “criminal possession of a weapon.” He’s threatened with up to a year in jail, because his gun was unlicensed.

Prosecutors want to put him in Riker’s Island – the same jail where the burglar was sent. Head prosecutor Charles Hynes wouldn’t talk to 20/20 but said of Dixon’s case, “You get caught with a [unlicensed] gun in Brooklyn, you’re going to do jail time.”

Dixon will fight that in court March 11.

At the same time that New York Gov. George Pataki, to save money, plans to let criminals out of jail, prosecutors are trying to put Ron Dixon in? When the career criminal, who was in Dixon’s house, got his first conviction, he got probation, no jail time. But Dixon has to go to jail?

Book review of "Atlas Shrugged"

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Check out the (very brief) book review of Atlas Shrugged I wrote for my OAC class:

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

Thus, the hero of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged chooses sides in an epic struggle for man’s soul – not in heaven, but on earth. The central plot of Atlas Shrugged is a mystery story: as Dagny Taggard, a successful railroad executive, watches the entrepreneurs and inventors of her society disappear one by one, she seeks to discover the source of the scourge that is destroying her world. She witnesses the consequences of the ethics of altruism and collectivism as her society descends into socialism, productive men are turned into slaves, and mooching beggars into her masters.

Throughout the novel, Ayn Rand presents clear examples of her philosophy in action through strong heroes and treacherous villains who demonstrate the importance of philosophy and the consequences of moral and immoral lives. Her characters ask and answer numerous important questions such as “Is reality independent of our minds or is it shaped by them? What is the result of basing our actions on emotions and what happens when we base them on reason? Why are so many successful individuals hated for their success? Should love be free or must it be earned? What is the proper role of government?” However, the most influential question Atlas Shrugged answered for me was “what kind of life must a man lead to achieve a state of guiltless happiness?”

The influence of Atlas Shrugged on my life has been so profound that I am still learning new applications of the philosophy Ayn Rand presented every day. This book is for everyone who has ever questioned the ethics of altruism and asked “what is the purpose of my life?”

Check out the shirts I

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Check out the shirts I designed for the Objectivist Club.

I got criticized by several people for being “insensitive,” “offensive” and “negative” with my design. I replied “Please explain what you find offensive about the phrase “irrationality will not be tolerated” and what kind of people you think will be offended by that.”


Who's funding the peaceniks?

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Ever notice how the media never mentions what groups are behind the protests? They make it seem like the protesters spontaneously come together in a collective orgy of anti-war sentiment, but as this WSJ editorial points out(subscription required, see one of the peacnik sites for their own list of backers), the case is far from it. Many leftist, environmentalist and plain Marxist groups are actually fueling this “popular movement.” Here are some of the financiers (Saddam must have chosen to remain anonymous):

Anti-Capitalist Convergence
Americans for Social Justice
Black Radical Congress
Code Pink for Peace
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Ecological Options Network (EON
Green Party of the United States
US Peace Council
House of The Goddess Center for Pagan Wombyn [sic – lol!]
International Socialist Organization
War Resisters League [gee, sound familiar?]
Socialist Party USA
Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Pride At Work, AFL-CIO

and so on…see any trend here?

the peaceniks are at it again…

by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Check out this photo of this weekend’s protest in Houston, from the Houston Chronicle. See the token black guy in the center? (Why else do you think the paper choose a photo of him?) That’s none other than Rob, longtime associate of Laurel and I and perhaps the most clueless philosophy major I know. Rob, I know you’re a regular reader of my blog, so let me tell you now that of all the stupid slogans you could have possibly chosen, you picked the absolute worst one. “No Blood for Oil” would have been preferable to your “The World Says NO.” The world’s opinion (as if a whole species could have one) has no bearing whatsoever on whether than opinion is right or not – something I’ve been trying to hammer into your brain for the last few years. Seriously, there are legitimate and critical questions to ask before a nation goes to war, and while I believe taking out Saddam is necessary and just action, a discussion of these issues would be a
proper thing to do. However NONE of the arguments presented by these new-age hippies have anything to do with the real questions we should be asking (is Saddam a big enough threat to the US to justify the cost of taking him out) and everything to do with typical liberal moral subjectivism, pacifism, and a general distate of western values. There’s really nothing more for me to add that I haven’t already said in my essay The anti-war protesters: what are they for?.


by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

A few days ago, I was feeling argumentative so I sent off a scorching rant to an editorial by “Brother Kelly Boggs” a Creationist pastor (see letter a few blogs below.) I didn’t really do it for their sake, and didn’t expect a reply, but lo and behold, not only did “Brother Kelly” send be rebuttal, but so did a member of “The Baptist Press.” The responses aren’t really worth mentioning, since they missed the point of the email. The best part though was the “biblical evidence for why we should attack Iraq” in one of the emails (apparently supporting evolution and/or atheism automatically makes you a peacenik.)
Ah, bashing religious fundies by day and liberal wackos by night – are there any sane people left in the world?


by David Veksler David Veksler No Comments

Someone stole my bike. They didn’t just steal it, they snatched it between 6 and 8pm from outside my apartment, with me at home, the windows wide open, and my computer playing music. It was a really nice new and expensive bike too, that I had just been getting used to enjoying. I think any sentiments of what I think of the thieves or the College Station police department would be superfluous.

On a more positive note, I’ve been working on my art collection. On of the highlights is a gallery of bad art. Half of the pieces are famous examples of modern art, going for millions of dollars, and half are made by amateurs/kids/me. Which is which?